February was the warmest in the past 122 years, since 1901, with average maximum temperatures 1.73 degrees above normal and average minimum temperatures 0.81 degrees above normal, the India Meteorological Department said on Tuesday.
In a press briefing, the IMD said that above normal maximum temperatures were experienced over most parts of north and northwest India and adjoining central India in February.
"Below normal maximum temperature was observed over south peninsular India. Above normal maximum temperature probability could be predicted reasonably well over northwest, central, and northeast India," it said.
"Below normal minimum temperature was experienced over most parts of the country, except some regions over north and northeast India where above normal minimum temperature was observed.
Comparison indicates that the temperature probability forecast could be predicted well over most parts of the country." The Weather Department said that during the upcoming hot weather season (March to May), above-normal maximum temperatures are likely over most parts of northeast India, east, and central India and some parts of northwest India.
"Normal to below normal maximum temperatures are most likely in remaining parts of the country. The month of March, otherwise considered to be spring - a transitionary month to summer - is likely to record above normal temperatures over most parts of the country except peninsular India where normal to below normal maximum temperatures are likely," it said.
There is a higher likelihood of heat wave conditions over central India even in March. "Above normal minimum temperatures in March are likely over most parts of India except south peninsular India where normal to below normal minimum temperatures are likely.
Rainfall average over the country is most likely to be normal (83-117 per cent of long period average)," the IMD said. "Below normal rainfall is most likely over most areas of northwest India, west central India, and some parts of east and northeast India.
Normal to above normal rainfall is likely over most parts of peninsular India, east central India and some isolated pockets of northeast India," it added.